DO’S AND DON’T

Andaman & Nicobar Islands have many sandy beaches and coral reefs.  But only some of these beaches are supervised for safe swimming, snorkeling and diving.  Though Andaman water is generally safe for swimming and looks inviting, it also has some potentially dangerous marine animals, which may come in conflict due to mistaken identity such as prey or to defend their territory.  Though such incidences are extremely rare, visitors are advised to observe the following precautions for a safe and enriching swimming experience.


Do’s

  • Find out about safe swimming or divingarea from the Tourist Information Center, Local Tour Operators and Forest Department Staff.  Do not swim in Protected Areas to avoid dangerous animals.
  • Look for the safety sign boards.They help you to identify potential dangers.
  • Ask a lifeguard on duty for some adviceon swimming conditions like local currents, tides, visibility, and the presence of dangerous marine creatures etc. Swimming conditions can change quickly, so seek prior advice from a lifeguard before entering in water in an unpatrolled area.
  • Get a friend to swim with youso that you can look out for each other’s safety and get help, if needed.  Children should always be supervised by an adult.  Avoid swimming in the dark.
  • Raise your hand up for helpif you get into trouble in the water. Stay calm and wave your arm for help.
  • Treat National Parks as they are sanctorum of our precious natural heritage.
  • Obtain permits from the Chief Wildlife Warden for photography / videography / investigation inside a sanctuary or a Marine National Park.
  • While driving, follow the traffic rules, keep left. Carry legal documents like driving license, permit, passport etc.
  • Dispose of the garbage and plastics at proper places/dustbins.
  • Take back only photographs and sweet memories leave behind only footprints and ripples.
  • Obtain transit pass from the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Wildlife Division, Port Blair, to transport any wild animal/trophy, article etc. outside the islands.
  • Foreign nationals are requested to obtain the Restricted Area Permit.
  • Visit only permitted areas.
  • Keep the beaches and the environment clean.
  • Observe decency and decorum in dress.
  • On beach, parents are requested to keep an eye on their kids at all times.
  • Please drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration.

Don’t

  • Do not dangle your arms or legs in the water during boat rides.
  • Do not swim alone.
  • Do not swim in unsafe waters during monsoon.
  • Do not swim after consuming liquor.
  • Avoid night swimming or diving.
  • Do not pluck or damage corals.
  • Shiny jewellery or bright colored clothes resembles fins of small fishes and may attract predatory fishes. Avoid such accessory or clothing while swimming.
  • If you have an open wound, please avoid swimming. Many predatory fish are attracted to blood odour.
  • Avoid diving or swimming amongst school of fish. This may attract predatory fishes such as sharks.
  • Avoid night swimming or diving.
  • Foreign Nationals should not enter the islands without required permit.
  • Do not enter into restricted/tribal areas.
  • Do not take video film or photographs inside Tribal Reserve areas of the indigenous tribes.
  • While driving, follow the traffic rules, keep left. Carry legal documents like driving license, permit, passport etc.
  • Do not take pictures of the Airport, Government Dockyard, Defense Establishments, Naval Wharf, Dhanikhari Dam and Chatham Saw Mill.
  • Do not collect, destroy coral or touch/ break live coral.
  • Please do not stand on the coral reef while snorkeling / Scuba Diving.
  • Do not take video or film without permit, wherever such permits are required.
  • Do not carry sea fans and seashells unless specific permits are obtained from the Fisheries Department.
  • Do not throw garbage and plastic in public places, beaches and into the sea.
  • Do not light fire in Forests and Protected Areas as it not only destroys forests but also damages wildlife habitat.
  • Person who commits breach of any of the conditions of the wildlife protections shall be punishable under law.
  • Do not stay on the beaches or forest during night by putting up tents/hammocks.
  • Nudity on beaches and public places is strictly forbidden.
  • Do not enter in the National Parks without prior permission.
  • Corals & Shells, collection of which is prohibited under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

LOOK OUT FOR HARMFUL MARINE ANIMALS

Jelly Fishes
Their sting may cause pain and giddiness.  Don’t touch or play with them.  Get ashore if you see a large school of Jelly Fish.  In case of a sting, apply vinegar or an ice pack. Do not rub.

Sharks
Normally present in open sea and some parts of coral reef areas.  Avoid swimming or diving alone and don’t enter the water with open wounds.

Sea Snakes
Some sea snakes are poisonous and are usually recognized by their paddle-like tail.  They can be aggressive if handled or stepped on.  Stay well away from them.

Stone Fish
Present in shallow coral and rocks or camouflaged in mud and sand.  It has venomous dorsal spines and its sting could be lethal.  To avoid sting never walk on coral reef area.  Never lift rocks or corals.  Wear sturdy sandals while walking in shallow coastal waters.

Salt water crocodiles
Noticed in creeks, mangrove areas, sheltered waters and mouths of creeks.  Please avoid swimming or diving in these areas.  If you spot a crocodile, get ashore and alert the authorities. Crocodiles also move large distances in the open sea and can be found in coral reefs as well.

GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITORS

  • Treat people with respect and be respectful of other cultures. Be an ethical
  • Learn local taboos to avoid offending people.
  • Be patient. Expect delays and when things run on time be pleasantly surprised.
  • Try to avoid raising your voice in anger.
  • Do not flaunt your relative wealth.
  • Bargain fairly and respectfully.
  • Be careful about talking politics in other countries.
  • Take care when you pay for things.
  • Leave your jewellery at home. You can look pretty or handsome when you get home — it’s not worth getting robbed or beat up for your jewellery. Go moderate on the perfume, aftershave, and cologne.
  • Learn the local tipping custom by reviewing guide books and web sites. Excessive over-tipping can be as harmful as under-tipping.

Hope the above details are as per your requirements. In case of further clarifications or any question(s) please do contact us.

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